Add ‘Review Insurance’ to Your College Checklist, Advises Grinnell Mutual

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Make sure your student is covered. Grinnell Mutual shares six questions that parents should ask their insurance agent before their kids head to college.

Moving to college, whether into a dormitory or an apartment, may cause insurance needs to change. The best way to find out is to call your local insurance agent.

Most college students have a lot on their minds this time of year. Besides packing clothes, school supplies, and other essentials, it’s time to meet back up with friends, finalize class schedules, and pick up the key to a new dormitory room or apartment. It’s also time to call your insurance agent, advises Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.

Moving to college, whether into a dormitory or an apartment, may cause insurance needs to change. College students own valuable electronic equipment (including laptops, smart phones, tablets, televisions, and more), in addition to clothes, appliances, and furniture. These possessions may be protected under the parents’ homeowners or renters policies, but special limits may also apply. If an apartment is rented off-campus, college students may not be covered under their parents’ policies. If students are taking a car with them to school, they might want to check rates in the city or state where they will be attending college before deciding whether or not to remain on the family’s auto policy. The best way to find out is to call your local insurance agent.

Six questions parents should ask their agent

  • What limits apply to personal property in a dorm room?
  • Should an additional endorsement be purchased for electronic equipment?
  • How will auto insurance premiums change if my child takes his/her car to college or if the car is left at home?
  • What are the requirements for my college student to qualify for a good student discount?
  • How is insurance coverage affected if my child goes to college part-time instead of full-time?
  • Will my child be covered under my homeowners or auto policies if he/she rents an apartment?

Moving off-campus? Learn the facts about renters insurance

Renters insurance provides coverage for loss or damage to personal property as well as liability coverage for injuries or damages for which the insured person is held liable. Renters insurance is inexpensive. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average premium ranges from just $15 to $30 per month – approximately the cost of two pizzas or three to four lattes per month. Some companies offer an auto-home discount if the renter’s vehicle is also insured through them.

How much coverage do you need?

When purchasing insurance, it’s important to take inventory of the apartment or dorm room contents to determine how much coverage to purchase. When the dollar value of those items is calculated, the total may be surprising. If a claim is filed, a comprehensive list of items (including purchase prices and serial numbers) may be required by the insurance carrier. Make a quick inventory by taking photos or video of the room(s) or use an app like NAIC’s myHome or Know Your Stuff® from the Insurance Information Institute. Store the inventory in a secure, off-site location.

To learn more about the changing insurance needs of college students, contact your local insurance agent. With peace of mind about insurance coverage, college students can get back to more important things, like studying for their first exam or ordering pizza on Friday night.

About Grinnell Mutual
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, in business since 1909, provides reinsurance for farm mutual insurance companies and property and casualty insurance products through more than 1,600 independent agents in 12 Midwestern states. Grinnell Mutual is the 123rd largest property-casualty insurance company in the United States and the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America.

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Mallory Bradshaw
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Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, reinsurer, fire prevention